The American Constitution: Religious Freedom
The American Constitution: Religious Freedom

The American Constitution: Religious Freedom

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  • Pages: 3 (1215 words)
  • Published: November 9, 2021
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Introduction

Religious freedom can be described as the right to choose a particular religion or belong to a specific religion without interference by the government. The freedom of religion is well assured by the First Amendment to the United States Constitution. The right is guaranteed under the free exercise clause of the 1st Amendment to the United States Constitution to practice one’s religion or exercise one’s belief without interference by the government as well as to be free of the use of authority by a church in the government. The U.S constitution in the 1st Amendment forbids making any law respecting an institution of religion, obstructing the free exercise of religion, abridging the freedom of speech, violating the freedom of the press, intervening with the right to peacefully assemble or prescribing the entreating for a governmental restore of complaints (Bridge, 2014). The Amendment warrants freedom regarding religion, assembly, expression, and the right to petition. It prohibits the government from both promoting one religion over the others and also restricting a person’s religious practices or beliefs. The two clauses in the 1st Amendment assures freedom of religion. The Establishment Clause prohibits the government from implementing laws to institute an official religion or to prefer one religion over others. It imposes the separation

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of church and state (Grasso, 2016). Some governmental endeavor linked to religion has been declared constitutional by the Supreme Court.

Positive impact of federalism on religious freedom

One positive impact of federalism on religious freedom is marriage equality. The constitutional baseline is that every person possesses rights. These rights are then safeguarded by delegating limited powers to the government bound by a written constitution whereby the constitution does not separate religion from people lives but separates religion from the government. On the issue of marriage equality, the right to same-sex marriage is not a restraint on religious beliefs or practices. The 1st Amendment guarantees that churches, mosques, synagogues are free to decide which marriage they want to recognize (Bridge, 2014). Some religious establishments will sanction same-sex marriages while others will not. There is no church that can be obliged to pass a policy contrary to the beliefs of its believers since believers would be free to join the church whose opinions are amiable. The gay marriage debate is not about private religious practices but about the government’s responsibility in issuing marriage licenses. Believers should not be concerned that religious establishments will lose government benefits if they do not conduct or identify gay marriages.

Legislatures can as well as religious grant exclusions. For instance, Catholic institutions are not denied charitable status simply because they decline to conduct abortions, although courts have held that abortion rights are constitutionally safeguarded. Moreover, Muslim temples are as well not denied government benefits because they restrict their women from involving in certain pursuits (Grasso, 2016). Federalism permits states to choose whether to recognize same-sex as well as conventional marriages or to assign a dissimilar label. However, federalism does not excuse

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fulfillment with the Equal Protection Clause. According to the 14th Amendment on marriage equality, it necessitates a state to certify a marriage between two personnel of the same sex and to identify a marriage between two individuals of the same sex when their union is lawfully licensed as well as conducted out of state (Grasso, 2016).

Negative impact of federalism on religious freedom

One negative impact of federalism on religious freedom is giving room for many denominations to be formed in the name of people claiming to be permitted the right to religion. The constitution has to differentiate between denominations in the body of Christ as well as non-Christian cults and false religions. Some denominations such as Jehovah’s Witnesses and Mormons are examples of cults that claim to be Christian but deny the essentials of the Christian faith (Grasso, 2016). Religion makes only one direct as well as an obvious appearance in the original constitution that appears to point to a desire for some degree of religious freedom. The clause that “no religious test should ever be needed as a qualification to any office or public trust under the U.S. this clause denotes that no public position can be needed to be held by anyone of any religious denomination.

Therefore, since the 1st amendment depicts that the congress shall not make laws relating to an establishment of religion (Russo, 2016). The Establishment Clause sets up a line of separation between the functions and operations of the institutions of religion as well as government in the society. There has been much debate concerning the term establishment of religion. The term according to Chief Justice William Rehnquist, have argued that the term was intended to forbid only the institution of a sole national church or the predilection of one religious sect over others (Russo, 2016). On the contrary, others believe that the term forbids the government from promoting religion in general and the preference of one religion over others. As a result of the laws passed in the 1st Amendment, federalism has no obligation to the formation of several diverse religious sects in the United States. It has no power to make any law that can denounce people from making a decision of forming as many different churches as they want. Furthermore, as a result of these, many groups claiming to be Christian have been formed in the name of cults that are luring people to death since they do not have the Christian morals in them and neither do they practice (Grasso, 2016).

Evaluation and reasons for evaluation

The most significant impact is the positive impact regarding marriage equality. Supreme Court rulings such as Obergefell v. Hodges in a 5_4 decision passed the basic right for people to have same-sex marriage (Russo, 2016). The court ruled that states should not ban same-sex marriages hence requiring all the states to issue licenses to couples of same sex marriage. The reason as to why this impact is important is because even without no provision of the U.S constitution regarding marriage, the debate about allowing same-sex marriage that had been tolerated for long was accepted for same-sex

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